METROPOLITAN RIVETERS CLAIM THEIR FIRST ISOBEL CUP
Metropolitan Riveters 1, Buffalo Beauts 0
On their second shot of the game, the Metropolitan Riveters scored the only goal from Alexa Gruschow who put the puck in from a difficult angle after her first shot was blocked. After that it was a tense battle which saw both goaltenders turn away shots. The Riveters’ Katie Fitzgerald made 28 saves and shut down the Buffalo Beauts late in the game for a 1-0 win.
Guschow was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
The Riveters finished the regular season with a record of 13-3-0 then easily dispatched of the Connecticut Whale 5-0 in the semifinals for their first appearance in the Isobel Cup final and dethroned the defending champs.
BALTIMORE BLAST WIN YET ANOTHER MASL TITLE
Baltimore Blast 4, Monterrey Flash 3
The Blast opened with a strong first half in front of a hostile crowd of 8,220 with goals from Vini Dantas, Andrew Hoxie and Daniel Peruzzi to a 3-0 lead at halftime. After a goal from Monterrey’s Edgar Gonzalez, Juan Pereria scored for Baltimore to extend their lead back to a 3-goal difference at 4-1. The Flash stormed back with two goals but the Blast defense was able to hold off the Monterrey rally to secure their third straight Ron Newman Cup title.
The Baltimore Blast have now won their 10th indoor title in team history. The Blast have been in the finals in 13 of the past 16 seasons.
Goalkeeper William Vanzela was playing in only his second game after returning from injury and finished the night with eight saves and strong down the stretch to help the Blast protect their one-goal lead. Vanzela needed only to make one last save in the final two minutes as the Flash brought on the extra attacker.
It is the middle of June and the ice has finally melted on the 2016-2017 hockey season. Here is a recap on the champions of each league:
National Hockey League (NHL): Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998. The Penguins defeated Columbus (4-1), Washington (4-3), Ottawa (4-3) and Nashville (4-2) to win their 5th cup in franchise history. Sidney Crosby was named the MVP.
American Hockey League (AHL): Grand Rapids Griffins
The Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch in six games to win their second Calder Cup. They defeated Milwaukee (3-0), Chicago (4-1) and San Jose (4-1) on their way to the Cup final. Griffins’ forward Tyler Bertuzzi was named the finals MVP. The Griffins are the top farm team for the Detroit Red Wings.
ECHL: Colorado Eagles
The Eagles won their first Kelly Cup championship in team history. Defenseman Matt Register was named the MVP to become the first defenseman in the ECHL’s 29-year history to receive the award. The Eagles defeated Idaho (4-1), Allen (4-2), Toledo (4-1) and South Carolina (4-0) to win the Cup. The Eagles are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche.
Federal Hockey League (FHL): Danville Dashers
The Dashers completed the best season in Danville history by winning the Commissioner’s Cup after setting a new league record with 129 points in the regular season. The Dashers defeated Watertown (2-1) and Berlin (3-2) to win their first championship. Danville forward Gehrett Sargis was named the MVP of the Commissioner Cup playoffs with four goals and four assists.
Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL): Macon Mayhem
The Mayhem won their first President’s Cup title in just their second season. They defeated Columbus (2-1), Pensacola (2-0) and Peoria (2-0). Goalie Jordan Ruby was named the MVP.
North American Hockey League (NAHL): Lone Star Brahmas
The Brahmas were crowned Robertson Cup National Champions. Drake Glover was named the tournament MVP to lead the Brahmas their first title. Lone Star defeated Wichita Falls (3-0), Corpus Christi (3-2), Janesville (2-0) and Aston (1-0) on their way to the Robertson Cup.
United States Hockey League (USHL): Chicago Steel
The Steel won the Clark Cup Championship beating the Sioux City Musketeers 3 games to 2 for their first title. Eduards Tralmaks was the MVP with 10 goals and two assists in the playoffs. His 10 goals are tied for the most in USHL playoff history. Chicago defeated Youngstown (3-2) and Dubuque (3-1) in the playoffs.
Western Hockey League (WHL): Seattle Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the first time in the team’s 40-year history. Mathew Barzal was named the MVP. Seattle defeated Tri-City (4-0), Everett (4-0), Kelowna (4-2) and Regina (4-2). The Thunderbirds won a dramatic Game 6 at Regina in overtime to win the cup.
National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL): Buffalo Beauts
The Beauts stunned heavily favored Boston Pride to win the Isobel Cup. Despite a third place finish in the regular season, Buffalo defeated the Pride 3-2 to win the title. Buffalo goalie Brianne McLaughlin was named MVP with 60 saves in the game. The Beauts defeated New York (4-2) and Boston (3-2) in the playoffs.
In her final game as a professional athlete, Buffalo’s Brianne McLaughlin stopped 60 of 62 shots to lead the Buffalo Beauts to an upset of the heavily favored Boston Pride in the 2017 National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) Isobel Cup final.
Despite finishing third in the league standings, Buffalo took an early 1-0 lead just 1:44 into the game when Megan Bozek scored a goal off the post. Emily Janiga scored later in the period to put the Beauts up 2-0 over a stunned Pride team. Boston tried to rally from a 3-1 deficit but could only score with 4.2 seconds left.
For most of the game, the Beauts totally frustrated the Pride’s Megan Duggan, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight and Blake Bolden who combined for 32 shots on goal.
The Beauts lost to the Pride in last year’s final and had not won consecutive games this season until the final three games.
In the semifinal games, the Pride crushed the Connecticut Whale 8-2. The Beauts upset the New York Riveters 4-2.
With the dramatic finish, the league’s future is uncertain. Due to financial troubles, the league ended its season a month early and reduced the Isobel Cup playoffs to single elimination. The league began play in 2015-16.